Sporting a quirky, brainy pop sound that took its cues from the likes of Ben Folds, Queen, Fun., and They Might Be Giants, pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel, and drummer Jesse Kristin first came together in 2003 as undergraduate students at George Washington University. Originally operating under a different name, the Sunday Mail, they rebranded themselves Jukebox the Ghost in 2005. Following graduation, they released their debut album, Let Live & Let Ghosts, and relocated to Philadelphia.
Boosted by positive reviews, Jukebox the Ghost began touring in earnest, first as the opening act for one of their biggest influences (Ben Folds) and then alongside some of their pop-minded contemporaries (Tally Hall, Jenny Owen Youngs, Nightmare of You). By early 2010, they’d signed with Yep Roc Records and gone into the studio with producer Peter Katis, known for his work with atmospheric rock bands like Interpol and the National. With Katis adding a darker element to the band’s sound, Jukebox the Ghost released their second album, Everything Under the Sun, in September. That same year, the group celebrated a milestone with an appearance on the David Letterman Show, followed by tours with Barenaked Ladies and Jack's Mannequin before heading back into the studio to record their third full-length, 2012's Safe Travels. In May 2014, the band issued the single "The Great Unknown," which was followed by their eponymous fourth long-player later that fall. The following year saw the band sign with Interscope subsidiary Cherrytree Records and reissue the album, as well release a new single, a cover of the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" that was recorded with new labelmates Secret Someones. In 2017, the band issued a pair of singles, "Stay the Night" and "Boring," with a third single, "Everybody's Lonely," arriving in February 2018 ahead of the release of their full-length Off to the Races, which dropped later that March. ~ Andrew Leahey